Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Translation Thursday: Enthusiasm and Dread

Welcome to this installment of "New Translation Thursday."

I am still in Saint Louis. This healthcare system for whom I am working is a remarkable organization. They invited anyone who wanted to join a first-time choir to do so. We have about forty people in this group and they have been extraordinary. It's been quite a good experience for this musician.

As you know, WLP has posted a survey on Survey Monkey, with a few questions about the new translation. I will be sharing some of these responses with you. You can take the survey yourself by clicking here.

There have been many spirited responses to one of our questions: "What is your general feeling about and approach to implementing the new translation in your parish?"

Here are just three of the responses to that question:

1. I have a mixture of feelings, some excitement for something new, but also a lot of dread since I have seen the new translations. I have tried to say the Eucharistic Prayers out loud and it was very difficult. Too many commas. I feel like I am on the Kennedy Expressway during rush hour and with lots of construction. The traffic should be moving quickly, but it is stop and go. I am worried that my parishioners will feel the same way and opt for Metra, or another church!

2. Not excited. Afraid I won't do a good job. Afraid of the hostility about it that I will receive from parishioners. It will be hard to lead people prayerfully in an enthusiastic way if it is greeted poorly.

3. I am a strong advocate of the new translation, and insofar as I am responsible for the musical direction at our parish, I see this as a unique opportunity being presented. It is apparent that there is a strong desire to move in the direction of greater solemnity and towards a more "traditional" (i.e - chant based music) approach to liturgical music, and so I am resolving to use this time to reshape the music program at our parish towards this goal.

The answers to this question range from enthusiasm to dread. I was particularly touched by the second answer above. As I have said before, it is primarily the clergy and musicians (as well as catechists) who will receive the brunt of questions about the changes. This person obviously feels that he or she does not have the tools necessary to "do a good job." Hopefully, this person will spend time in the next many months to do what is possible to do as good a job as she or he can.

The fact remains that some (many?) of those entrusted to our care will disagree with even the finest answers that we provide them. This is at the root of the challenge that faces us. There are many people—who took the survey—who have offered some very sound pastoral advice about this. I will share some of those pieces of advice as New Translation Tuesdays and Thursdays continue.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Pat Vallez-Kelly said...

Great blog, Jerry. You're bookmarked!